Advice

Making good men, great men.

Just set yourself a new goal? Keep it to yourself, at least to begin with.

How verbalising a new-found goal can prevent you from completing it.

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Setting a new goal for yourself is exciting. 

So exciting, you want to shout it from the roof-tops.

You want to talk about it to anyone who’ll listen. Or maybe just a few close friends.

However enthused you are to share your new-found goal with others, don’t.

At least not right away.

Keep it locked down tight until you’re deep within the process of working towards it.

But why?

There are many reasons why verbalising your goals as soon as you set them can mean the untimely demise of said goals.

Here are some of them:

Cheerleaders will distract you

When you share your goal with highly-supportive people, they’ll likely show you praise.

This praise causes your brain to release happy chemicals into your system.

The more praise you receive, the more your body wants to chase the buzz of these happy chemicals.

Once you’ve exhausted all speak of your new goal, once the praise has ended and the happy chemicals have subsided, you’re left feeling flat and vulnerable. 

Flatness and vulnerability are not conducive to fearless execution.

Well-intended people may try to talk you out of it

Even the most well-intended people may try to talk you out of working towards your new goal. Perhaps they’re concerned about how difficult your goal is or they know you’ve had a habit of giving up on goals in the past.

The problem is, they’re a trusted companion, not a mind-reader. They will never truly understand how ambitious or determined you feel about your new goal. 

Maybe your old goal wasn’t the right one for you. 

Maybe past failings were simply stepping stones on the path to achieving your new goal.

Maybe you’ve got a hidden talent for this new goal and will go on to achieve it better than anyone has before you. 

Well-intended people don’t have all the answers. 

So before you’ve even started working towards a goal, don’t talk about it to these people, lest you’ll risk demotivation by another’s apprehension.

Out-right haters will hate on you

There’s not much to say on this one as it’s pretty obvious. 

Telling an out-right hater about a new goal will never yield positive results.

They’ll laugh at you. They’ll try to tear you down. They’ll surface up your insecurities and shove them in your face.

Disclaimer: Don’t even tell haters about your goal if you’re 99% of the way through completing it. They’ll never support you because they’re too ashamed of themselves and their own perceived incapability of achieving similar goals.

You might tell someone with a similar goal

Sometimes when you share a new goal with someone, you learn that they share a similar goal. 

This can immediately make you start to feel insecure and demotivate you. Especially in cases where this person is: 

- Someone you consider more talented than you and therefore fear as superior competition.

- A highly cynical person. They’ll talk about the goal with negativity. Mention how few people have been able to achieve it before you or them. How they almost regret setting it in the first place.

You risk dealing with someone who hides jealousy behind supportive discouragement

These people are possibly the most dangerous people to share a new-found goal with.

When you first tell them, they’ll furrow their brow, they’ll move in close, they’ll put their hand on your shoulder and they’ll say ‘look, I’m only telling you this as a friend. Don’t do it. I’ve seen far too many people attempt it and fail. I don’t want to see you get hurt.’

The reason this person is so dangerous is that it’s hard not to believe them, especially as they appear to have your best interests at heart.

Truth is, they feel threatened by your ambition and they’re afraid that you’ll become more successful than they are. In turn, they’re not afraid to use devious manipulation tactics to stop it from happening.

Being held accountable by someone else almost never works

It may seem a smart move to share a new-found goal with someone else as a way of having them hold you accountable for it.

The problem is, no-one else can really hold you accountable for completing a goal. Only you can. 

Sure, their disapproval towards the idea of you not completing your goal may provide brief stints of obligation-based motivation, but it won’t be enough to get you all the way there.

Plus, what happens when you don’t achieve it? Are you going to hold this person accountable, or worse, resent them for it? It’s unfair to put that sort of pressure on someone else. Especially in the beginning.  

Perpetually verbalising goals and failing to complete them is like crying wolf

If you have a habit of verbalising goals more far more than completing them, others likely see you as someone who cries wolf.

When the wolf appears for real, (when you’ve set a goal that you’re actually prepared to complete), others hesitate to believe you.

Disbelief from others can leave you feeling negative, questioning yourself and demotivating you from the task at hand.

So I can’t tell anyone about my goals?

You can. But not until your goal is well-thought-out and you’re at such a point where negative opinions couldn’t stop the momentum you’ve generated from completing it.

But what if I NEED to tell someone

If you just have to tell someone about your goal right at the start, you can, but only on one condition: the person you're telling has to be someone that will be equal parts happy for you, neutral in their enthusiasm and unfazed should you not complete it.

Dream big, work hard, but keep quiet (at least in the beginning).

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